“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sometimes you get disappointed, but sometimes you get happy.

My husband emailed me while visiting the US, "I just bought you the greatest thing. You will love it." He didn't reveal what it was, but said it was taking up most of his luggage.  I was advised by a friend to not get my hopes up, since this was a GUY buying a gift.  I was impressed when he unpacked it back in Auckland, and extremely happy when I got to use it the first time. What is it you ask? Check out the photo below:

That's me giving my dog Fargo a bath, with Ruby behind me.  The gift is a portable, propane water heater. 

You connect the hose from the faucet, the propane tube into the heater, and the white tubing in the center pumps out hot water to a shower head.  The temperature and water flow rate is adjustable.  The beauty part about it is the not freezing water! Much more comfortable for me and the dogs, and the soap seems to work better as well.   Usually doggie bath time is when we are all tired and sore, so to have the warm water takes away a bit of the discomfort. Also, Darin and I can take it up to our land in Maungaturoto and use it up there.  I really do love this little water heater! Isn't it adorable? It's so practical. Never underestimate the power of hot water!
This past week Guy Faukes day was celebrated. As Nov 5 fell during the week, the fireworks were scheduled for the weekend. We went to Kumeu to see the fireworks show on Friday night. We saw many fireworks going off from people's yards on the drive home.  As we turned onto Scenic Drive, we saw a dog running downhill as fast as he could go, down the middle of the street.  Darin stopped the car and I got out and tried to get him to come to me. He was so scared, and I was so worried about him in the middle of the street. People drive pretty fast coming down this hill, and sure enough, one was coming. I flailed my hands and yelled, Darin flashed his lights, but the jerk didn't even slow down. I saw the dog go on the opposite side of our car, into the oncoming car's lane, and fully expected to see a dog's body go flying through the air.  When he reappeared behind our car, I called to him again and he came to me. Whew! He was a sweet red Staffordshire Terrier, and had his tail tucked firmly between his legs.  I got him into the car, and we drove up the hill. We put him in a dog crate on our front porch and called the Waitakere City Council phone number on his registration tag.  Amazingly, someone answered the phone at 10 pm.  They called the owner and connected us. His wife showed up to pick up Simba a few minutes later; they live about 200 meters uphill from us. How great is that? What a happy ending! But it gets better:

The neighbor showed up with her daughter to deliver this sweet thank you. 
The disappointment I refer to in the title was the recipe for Rogan Josh I prepared from a slick new cookbook I borrowed from the library, Curry, Classic and Contemporary by Vivek Singh. I had some goat meat from the freezer which I used in place of lamb, but the recipe called for leg and I had loin and shoulder, still on the bone. 

You would think that Rogan Josh made from scratch would be pretty awesome, right? I made a special trip to the market for whole cinnamon stick and black cardamom pods and ghee.  I cried my way through two large onions to make this, even doing the beetroot-in-a-soaking-bag trick to make the sauce red (didn't work so hot).  The result was edible, but not worth the effort it took.  I did have fun trying it though, and I recommend you listen to Metallica's S & M while preparing all the ingredients in advance.  I also recommend reading the recipe in full repeatedly before following it.  I didn't have any problems with the recipe but in the past I have had the unpleasant experience of burning the onions- that sucks.
Anyway, I have photocopied some of the other recipies and will try them. I bought some yellow splilt peas awhile ago and will have to try that some time.

Much less disappointing was the book Watchmen, the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Recommended!